San Antonio Spurs: Ettore Messina rips Danilo Gallinari for in-game punch

By Rob Wolkenbrod
BOLOGNA, ITALY - JUNE 26: Ettore Messina head coach of Italy Basketball National Team talks over during the friendly match between Italy and Canada at PalaDozza on June 26, 2016 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images)
BOLOGNA, ITALY - JUNE 26: Ettore Messina head coach of Italy Basketball National Team talks over during the friendly match between Italy and Canada at PalaDozza on June 26, 2016 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images) /
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San Antonio Spurs assistant and Italian national team head coach, Ettore Messina, ripped Danilo Gallinari for an in-game punch that broke his hand.

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina’s summer job has him as the head coach of the Italian national team. They’ll compete in this month’s Eurobasket tournament, which kicks off on August 31 and concludes on September 17.

Under Messina’s watch, Danilo Gallinari was involved in an altercation during Italy’s friendly against the Netherlands. This saw Gallinari punch Jito Kok, and result in a right thumb injury, according to ESPN.

In a statement to Italian publication Republicca (h/t San Antonio Express-News), Messina ripped Gallinari for his in-game antics. He said the 28-year-old, who will miss Eurobasket, apologized, but based on what Messina said, it wasn’t enough:

“He did something I can’t explain, unacceptable. An example of do-it-yourself justice that disgusts me in society. He apologized. He was mortified. But I did not want to talk to him.”

“It is difficult to explain to a 30-year-old man concepts such as loyalty and responsibility.”

It’s harsh words from Messina who’s clearly frustrated with what happened. This made him lose one of his top players for Eurobasket, which could impact the team’s performance.

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For Gallinari, he signed a three-year, $65 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers in a sign-and-trade, which saw the Denver Nuggets ship him out. He’ll be ready to go by training camp, but needs one month of rest, as the ESPN piece noted. It’s obviously not a great start for the oft-injured forward’s start as a Clipper, however.

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